In the beginning, clothing was used for covering the body. But with the span of time, it was also expected to fulfill other functional aspects. As the expectations regarding clothing underwent a transformation, manufacturers came up with innovative solutions to attract the consumers. Clothes with special functions known as performance apparels made their debut in the apparel sector. Today, performance apparel is one of the fastest growing segments in the global clothing arena. Growth of the industry is fuelled by the technological advancements, and introduction of new fibers, and processes.

Growth Drivers:

Market for performance apparels is getting a consistent boost by the rapid changes in the lifestyle of the people. Increase in the amount of disposable income, more individual families, and duel income in majority of the households have attributed to the growth of the market. As per the current trends, people have the tendency to spend more money on leisure activities. New fabrics are being developed for sporting activities which is also a reason for the reason for the growth of the industry.

Performance Apparel as a Sports wear:

Market for performance apparel as a sportswear has seen a perceptible shift with a growth rate of 19.4% over the last four years. Current market is estimated to be around $6.40 billion USD, and is further anticipated positively to grow and reach 7.6 billion USD by 2014. More and more people involve in sporting activities such as cycling, hiking, swimming, mountaineering, athletics, and aerobics etc. The aerodynamic nature of these sporting activities requires garments with flexible nature.

Market for sportswear will experience a positive growth more for men comparatively over women's apparels. Much of the growth will be seen in EU, East Asia, and North America. Inner wear, weather resistant, and fleece products will outshine other apparel categories in this segment.

Performance Apparel as a Protective wear:

With an increasing risk in industries such as exposure to fire, pollution, and chemicals etc, performance apparel has become more essential as a protective wear. These fabrics experienced a drastic growth during the 90s. Innovative outputs in the field of nanotechnology and smart textiles have aided for the growth supplemented by the trend in the demand for such type of fabrics. Demand for clothes with odor preventing properties, and with stain resistant and wrinkle resistant abilities indicate the consumers expectations for a healthy life style. Fabric treatments such as lamination, coating and microporous fabrics will have a winning market. Protective wear market is predicted by industry experts to witness a growth rate of 6% by 2012.

Protective apparel will have an affirmative growth in womens segment. Outerwear for women will lead the product range in womens clothing sector. East Asia, EU, and North America will be in the growth trajectory.

Apart from symbolizing sophistication and social status, today clothing has also been considered for health, fit and performance. Performance apparels represent one of the fastest growing segments in the clothing market in a global perspective finding a place in the wardrobes of most of the consumers'.